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Parcel bomb intended for Celtic boss intercepted

Wed 20th Apr 2011 | Legal

Celtic manager, Neil Lennon was the target of one of three parcel bombs sent to high profile individuals with links to the Glasgow club.

The package intended for Lennon was intercepted at the Royal Mail sorting office in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, on March 26.

Lennon, along with Paul McBride QC and Labour politician Trish Godman were targeted with the devices which were described by police as ‘viable devices designed to cause harm’.

It was initially thought they were hoax packages but analysis has revealed that they could have worked.

On March 28 a parcel for Trish Godman was intercepted at her constituency office and on April 15 a package was intercepted en route to Paul McBride, who has represented Lennon at Hampden during his dispute with the SFA.

A police source said: "They were viable devices designed to cause harm.

"We are treating the matter very seriously."

The parcels are the latest in a series of incidents targeting people linked with Celtic Football Club.

Earlier this year packages containing bullets were sent to Lennon and to Celtic players Paddy McCourt and Niall McGinn, all three of whom are from Northern Ireland.

SNP leader and First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Let us be quite clear - there is a major police investigation under way to ensure that the individual or individuals concerned are identified and apprehended, and then brought to book with the full force of the law.

"We will not tolerate this sort of criminality in Scotland, and as an indication of the seriousness with which we view these developments the Cabinet sub-committee met last Saturday to ensure that the police investigation has every possible support to come to a successful conclusion. We are confident that this will be the case.

"These disgraceful events should remind all of us who love the game of football of what unites us as a community.

"It is time to remember what we value in society, and unite to condemn those who use football as a pretext for their pathetic and dangerous prejudices."

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan reacted with dismay to the news.

In a statement, he said: "The Scottish FA is horrified and saddened by the news that the Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, has been subjected to another - reportedly 'viable' - threat along with two other prominent supporters of the club.

"It is hoped that swift action by Strathclyde Police will succeed in capturing the perpetrators of these cowardly acts and bring the full weight of justice down on them.

"Scottish football should be a safe and entertaining environment for players, coaches and supporters.

"It must not be used as a platform for religious intolerance or hatred."

Regan, who joined the SFA in October, added: "On a personal note, as a relative newcomer to this country, I find this recent situation both depressing and deplorable.

"With the support of the police, the Scottish Government and our other league bodies, it is our intention to help rid Scottish football of this unwanted poison which seems to be prevalent in society."

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